FLW College Fishing - Central
Mississippi River/LaCrosse (July 28, 2012)
LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Indiana University team of Derrick Hoffman and Sean Gillenwater both of Bloomington, Ill., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Conference event on the Mississippi River Saturday with three bass weighing 10 pounds, 10 ounces. The victory earned the team $5,000. The win also helped them advance to the Central Conference Championship.
Both young anglers were fishing on the Mississippi River for the first time and came to the event hoping to make the top-five but never dreamed they would actually win. In fact up until a few days ago Gillenwater didn’t even know he would be fishing in a tournament on Saturday.
“We weren’t able to get any practice in on the river but I did a lot of homework. Both Sean and I are power fisherman and I knew the frog bite would be strong and play into our strengths. Once I broke it down this fished a lot like my home lake.
“I am really excited to have qualified for the Central Conference Championship,” Hoffman continued. “I won 3rd place in the state championship when I was a senior in high school at Lake Carlyle so I have a lot of confidence going into the tournament.”
The team from Indiana University said they were fishing lily pads with Ish’s Phat Frogs to claim their victory.
“I wasn’t going to fish the tournament,” said Gillenwater a senior in business management. “But then a few of the bass club members convinced me to fish saying that it would be a frog tournament which happens to be my strength. I love to frog fish and this was a blast. You don’t get a frog bite like this back home. This is just an awesome fishery; I really hope that I get to come back.
Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Central Conference Championship are:
2nd: Southern Illinois-Edwardsville – Jacob Hicks, Morris, Ill., and Joseph Tischer, Edwardsville, Ill. (three bass, 10-7, $1,500)
3rd: Marian University – Justin McDonald, Noblesville, Ind., and Joel Bone, Decatur, Ind. (three bass, 9-9, $1,000)
4th: Eastern Illinois University – Dan Martin and Michael March (three bass, 9-3, $1,000)
5th: Kansas State University – Ethan Dhuyvetter and Matt Salmons, both of Manhattan, Kan., (three bass, 8-11, $1,000)
Four regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southern and Western. The top five teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championships, where the first-place team wins a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard. The top five teams from each conference championship advance to the national championship.
College Fishing is free to enter and FLW provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.